Main | Friday, November 18, 2011

"Marriage Defender" Doug Manchester Buys San Diego's Daily Newspaper

Hotel kingpin and Prop 8 backer Doug Manchester has purchased San Diego's Union-Tribune for $110 million. And locals can expect some big changes.
What happens when that brash, bold, confrontational man steps into the newsroom of the region's largest newspaper? John Lynch, the former local radio executive who will become the newspaper's new president and CEO, offered a preview Thursday night of that future. Some parts of the paper may stay the same. Lynch and Manchester want its publisher, Ed Moss, and its editor, Jeff Light, to stay. Lynch said he doesn't foresee the print product disappearing for at least a decade. But Lynch said he wants the paper to be pro-business. The sports page to be pro-Chargers stadium. And reporters to become stars. "It's news information, but it's also show biz," Lynch said. "You get people to tune in and read your site or the paper when there's an 'Oh wow' in the paper."
BACKGROUND: After Manchester's $125,000 donation to Protect Marriage was made public, a boycott of his San Diego hotels was launched, costing the properties millions in lost convention business. Manchester then offered LGBT groups blocks of free hotel rooms with a value that equaled his Prop 8 donation, an olive branch that was refused. In 2009 Manchester's wife of 43 years launched an ugly divorce proceeding that included claims that he had forged her name on an $8M tax refund check. Last year his hotel hosted the wedding of Ladyfingers Prejean.

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